Fentanyl in Calgary
What’s being done by the government
Georgia Longphee, Staff Writer
In the last few years fentanyl, an opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine, has hit Alberta like a tidal wave. The province’s death toll, which has risen from 120 to 272 in the span of a year, has created concern from the provincial government.
Calgary is one of the biggest areas of concern, where the death toll in 2015 alone was 81 people, all of differing demographics. Two of these people were only 19-years-old, who died in September and December of last year.
Due to this rapid increase in overdoses, Alberta Health officials are looking into opening clinics and rehab centres in Southern Alberta; specifically in Cardston, due to its proximity to the Blood Tribe, which has been hit hard with many overdoses in the last year. The main goal of these clinics is to offer access to suboxone and methadone, two types of replacement opioid drugs that are used for morphine addiction. Another step that has been taken is to allow Naloxone, an antidote drug that reverses fentanyl overdoses, to be more readily available.
The Calgary Police department has made some arrests in February of individuals who have been suspected and caught in possession of fentanyl with intent to sell. It is suspected that the supplier is located in Kelowna, and there have been some arrests in connection to this development.
Drug use is tempting to younger demographics. Fentanyl is sometimes disguised in other “party drugs” and can have disastrous effects. If you or someone you know has a problem with drug use, there are links and resources available through www.canadadrugfree.org.